The Sauber team endured another difficult day as they began preparations for the Canadian Grand Prix which involved a driver change and then an accident.
Sergio Perez was in the C30 for the morning practice session but reported feeling ill after he had done his 27 laps of the Montreal circuit. The team decided that the Mexican should sit out the rest of the weekend, and he was replaced by Pedro de la Rosa.
However, no sooner had the team prepared Car No. 17 for the Spaniard to drive in the afternoon session, then Kamui Kobayashi hit a wall at Turn Four to end his day prematurely, and bring out a red flag.
“In the morning it was very difficult to drive because the track was so slippery,” said Kobayashi, reflecting on his day. “I found it difficult to judge the car's balance on the new tyre compound we have had for testing. Despite this I tried different downforce levels and worked on the set-up. For the afternoon session the car was better, but then I made a mistake when I tried to do a fast lap on super soft tyres and hit the wall. It was obviously my fault.
“In respect of my new temporary team mate, I obviously know Pedro very well from last year and I will try to support him here over the weekend. For Sergio, I wish him a good and speedy total recovery.“
De la Rosa drove for Sauber for the first fourteen races of 2011, and so is no stranger to the team. However, he had not driven the new C30 before today, and finished only P18 on the timesheets.
“First of all I hope Sergio gets well soon,” said the Spaniard. “For me it was unexpected to jump into the car today. We had to get a lot of things ready for me to get into the car, but luckily we managed to do one proper run.
“Of course I have to learn a lot about the 2011 car, but the most important thing now is I have to get comfortable with the seat and pedals. However, I feel ready and just need a little bit of time in the car.”
Technical Director James Key confirmed that Kobayashi’s accident was down to driver error, and is optimistic of a productive Saturday in Canada: “[Kamui] just put the car on a kerb and ran wide when he was on super soft tyres,” Key explained. “He wasn't able to continue. Until then there was a good improvement. We still have some work to do, but we are looking forward to having a productive day tomorrow.”